Fashion Week Wrap: Part 1

Diane von Furstenberg dedicated her collection to American Legends, Alexander Wang introduced the cocoon, and Victoria Beckham revealed her new curves. See highlights from New York Fashion Week.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo; Frazer Harrison / Getty Images (2)

Diane von Furstenberg

The theme of Diane von Furstenberg's Fall/Winter 2011 show was "American Legends." As von Furstenberg described in her program notes, her woman this season dreams "under the open sky, she rides the untraveled trail." The collection captured this pioneer's spirit, with several nods to the West: cowboy boots trimmed with fringe, bright alpaca vests, and gaucho jumpsuits. For evening, Von Furstenberg gave us several floor-length sequined wrap-dresses, which seemed to be modern takes on the iconic mermaid dresses of Norman Norell in the 1970s.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Diane von Furstenberg

Several strong statement pieces, such as flat-brimmed hats, motorcycle jackets, and oversized sunglasses communicated the message of the show. "Traveling is her thread, collection memories and designing a life that is her own," von Furstenberg described the look. "Fusing feminine details with hard-edge attitude, she references the past and invents her future."

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Front Row at Diane von Furstenberg

In keeping with the theme of the show, several American legends found their way into the front row, where they were swarmed by photographers and video crews before the lights went down in the tent. In the star-studded crowd was Fergie of The Black-Eyed Peas—who seemed blown away by the collection—model Molly Sims, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Bravo's Andy Cohen, and Fran Leibowitz. When von Furstenberg took a spin around the runway after the show, she stopped to kiss her husband, Barry Diller, and granddaughter. (Barry Diller is chairman of IAC, which is an owner of The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC.)

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Tory Burch

This season, the look at Tory Burch was, as the designer put it: "English countryside meets American sportswear." And what resulted was just that—chunky sweaters that you could imagine on Keira Knightley in Never Let Me Go, print-mixes that teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson would like—and even a red velvet smoking suit, which Burch said came directly from her mother's Yves Saint Laurent suit wardrobe from the 1970s. The collection featured several wide-legged pants (some that looked like skirts) and combined 1970s glamour, with a happy-go-lucky outdoorsiness.

Andrew Burton / AP Photo

Derek Lam

The dedicated few who weren't out till 3 a.m. at Prabal Gurung's celebratory party made it to the first show of Sunday morning: Derek Lam, at the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. And those who made the early trek to Lincoln Center were not disappointed: Lam presented a functional collection of ponchos, fur-trimmed jackets, and wool pants. And from the looks of it, you would never have guessed his inspiration: Balanchine. Lam said that his translation of the legendary ballet dancer wasn't a literal one—and that he was inspired by the idea that "that there are no new steps, only new combinations." And combinations there were indeed: the collection featured striped green ponchos with leather pants; wool ponchos, and even billowing gowns which, in an apparent ode to Lanvin's Spring 2011 runway, were offset with leather.

Bebeto Matthews / AP Photo

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham is 7 months pregnant with her fourth child—but that didn't stop her from narrating her collection at a presentation Sunday morning. The former Spice Girl debuted an impressive Fall collection, filled with her signature bright dresses and an assortment of handbags from the line's brand-new accessories collection. And there were clues that Beckham is finally designing for a woman, well, like herself: with curves. Dresses were, for the first time, loose and shapely. And, probably most welcome on a gray February morning: color! Beckham gave us canary yellow, sherbet orange, fire-engine reds—and just about everything in between. As Vogue's Sarah Mower put it, this collection was "distinctly more "woman of the world" than "soccer WAG on a red carpet."

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Band of Outsiders

At the Band of Outsiders show Saturday evening, crowds flooded into an abandoned warehouse on West 37th Street, where they found lemon cookies from hotspot Momofuku Milk Bar on every seat. Though Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg only met Tavi Gevinson at his show last season, he gave her the seat of honor: directly next to Anna Wintour. After the lights dimmed, two models rappelled down from inside the ceiling in harnesses. The collection, which featured quilted windbreakers, corduroy, and striped sweaters, effectively captured the spirit of Sternberg's home state of California.

Jason DeCrow / AP Photo

Band of Outsiders

52 looks came down the runway for the Band of Outsiders, Boy, and Girl collections. Sternberg said he was inspired by Ally Sheedy's character in The Breakfast Club (rabbit-hair coats, fuzzy braids, slouchy hats) and Girl by the Sea Ranch Commune of Northern California. As WWD wrote of the collection: "There was a lot to take in, but Sternberg made it work."

Backstage at Band of Outsiders

Backstage at Band of Outsiders was a veritable scene—due in no small part to a mahogany bar set up in one corner, where Dewar's served Pimlicos and sours for the star-studded crowd that moseyed back after the show. That included rappers Kanye West and Kid Cudi, who braved the crush of fans and journalists after the show to congratulate Sternberg on his collection. But as Kanye—who fell victim to us last season—announced to the crowds at the show: "I don't do press!"

Stefan Gosatti / Getty Images for IMG

Alexander Wang

Lady Gaga appeared in a pod at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. And thanks to Alexander Wang, we'll soon have one in our closet, too. Cocoon-like jackets came down the runway at Wang, where the designer inserted humor into his collection. There were several riffs on formalwear, as Wang explained "we're almost poking fun at decadence and luxury." This mentality found its way into every part of Wang's collection—from unexpectedly puffy hats to fur accents on shoes.

Kathy Willens / AP Photo

Alexander Wang

Wang's warrior is a woman of paradox: she's simultaneously delicate and feminine—but isn't afraid to look a little manly, too. Several pieces he sent down the runway were just that—clever combinations of tough and soft, such as a sweater-dress with muscular padded sleeves and a feminine satin hem.

Stefan Gosatti / Getty Images for IMG

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung's show opened with a bang: Karlie Kloss in an assymetrical red dress. Gurung said he drew the inspiration for his fifth collection from Miss Havisham. But if there was any evidence of Dickens on the runway, it was certainly short-lived: Gurung's girls were more vampy than Victorian—with everything from lace appliqué to sumptuous Mongolian furs.

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Prabal Gurung

Gurung wasn't afraid of a strong silhouette, as one structural pink look added drama to the lineup of 40 looks.

Stefan Gosatti / Getty Images for IMG

Prabal Gurung

Gurung flooded his runway with reds and pinks—including one ombre pink fur coat.

As Gurung told The New York Times: "No one needs another cashmere sweater. What people are looking from me is something that is special."

Timothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images

Jason Wu

Though Fashion Week technically kicked off on Thursday, things didn't feel official until the first model walked down the runway at Jason Wu on Friday afternoon. The show started with a bang—with wool coats, embroidered dress shirts, and beaded jackets. The feel of the collection was, as his stylist Kate Young told The Daily Beast, inspired by "decaying Versailles." But it's clear that Wu has his mind on another palace: as he told The Telegraph's Hilary Alexander, he's been inspired by the upcoming royal wedding, and hopes that Kate Middleton will pick a wedding dress that is "sleek, beautiful, and young." Kate, take note!

Robert Caplin for The Daily Beast

Jason Wu Backstage

Backstage at Jason Wu's show on Friday was buzzing with energy. Models had their eyebrows bleached blond for, as one stylist put it, "that blanked-out look," and were given smoky and golden eyes. Pieces of 24-carat gold leaf were sprayed into their hair, and they were given Jason Wu manicures, too: red nails with gold tips. "I have to rip these off to get to my next show!" one model joked.

Robert Caplin for The Daily Beast

Jason Wu

The designer put the finishing touches to his collection in the minutes before the show, examining several lace masks.

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Elise Øverland

Talk about a holiday on ice: at Elise Øverland at the Standard Ice Rink on Saturday night, editors got a lot more than a fashion show. Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir took to the ice to skate his heart out in a fur vest and black pants by the designer—to the tune of his own single, "Dirty Love." Models then shuffled out across the ice—thankfully, none of them lost her footing—and stood on plastic lily pads to model the looks, which included colorful furs, feathers and leather, and floral coats.